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The English as a Second Language program at Shenandoah University is designed to prepare ESL students to succeed in their academic coursework and ultimately to graduate with their chosen degree.

Shenandoah’s ESL program, housed in the Academic Enrichment Center (Howe 204), is dedicated to helping English language students gain the skills needed to succeed at the university level. They meet students from all over the world and share ideas and cultures as they learn English. Students enrolled in the English as a Second Language Certificate program will be eligible to receive the Certificate when they complete two courses at the Intermediate Level, and two courses at the Advanced Level, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, for a total of 12 credits.

All international students, for whom English is not their first language and who have been admitted to the university on a provisional basis are expected to enroll in ESL academic support classes until they have met the English Language Proficiency standards. Students are placed in appropriate ESL classes based upon TOEFL or IELTS scores, recent writing samples and individual conferences with ESL and academic program faculty members.

ESL students are prepared for the academic classroom through a series of courses that emphasize the integration of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and incorporating the use of information systems. International students who are able to demonstrate a basic understanding of English may take academic classes while enrolled in ESL with the approval of the instructors of both the ESL and academic classes. This enables the international student to have direct experience in taking academic classes while receiving individualized support in English from ESL instructors and teaching assistants.

Students who demonstrate proficiency in English, through either passing a course at the 106 level or above with a grade of B or higher, or through earning a passing score on the TOEFL, are released from ESL requirements. After gaining ESL proficiency, students may elect to continue improving their English through Advanced courses.